STUTTGART – Mercedes-Benz is the first automobile manufacturer in the world to comply with the UN-R157’s legislative standards for a Level 3 autonomous system. On the basis of the technical approval rule UN-R157, the German Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA) has awarded system approval for this, clearing the path for supplying such a system internationally, assuming that national legislation permits it. The full statement can be found on Daimler’s official website.
The system got approval for Level 3 autonomous driving, beating Tesla’s level 2 autopilot system and allowing the drivers of the new Mercedes to take hands off the wheel in slow-moving traffic.
Drive pilot can offer to take over the driving on suitable freeway portions and when traffic density is high, initially up to the legally permissible speed of 60 km/h. The controls for this are on the left and right sides of the steering wheel rim, above the thumb recesses. When the driver selects DRIVE PILOT, the technology automatically manages the vehicle’s speed and distance while smoothly guiding it inside its lane. The route profile, events that occur along the route, and traffic signs are all taken into account.
The technology also reacts to unforeseen traffic conditions and manages them on its own, such as by performing lane evasive maneuvers or braking maneuvers. Sensor data obtained by LiDAR, camera, radar, and ultrasonic sensors can include road geometry, route parameters, landmarks, and traffic signs, among other things.
“For many years, we have been working to realize our vision of automated driving. With this LiDAR based system, we have developed an innovative technology for our vehicles that offers customers a unique, luxurious driving experience and gives them what matters most: time. With the approval of the authorities, we have now achieved a breakthrough: We are the first manufacturer to put conditionally automated driving into series production in Germany,” says Markus Schäfer, Chief Technology Officer responsible for Development and Purchasing
As of right now, the approval is valid only in Germany, but it represents a big step towards integration in other countries with emerging technologies.